In the third round of the event Italian WFM Tea Gueci (with nickname marmocchia) met former World champion for women GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (nickname: AlexandraK). It was a very interesting and sharp encounter with ups and downs for both players.
Enjoy the game, annotated in-depth by IM, WGM Iva Videnova.
WFM Tea Gueci (marmocchia) 2350 – GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (AlexandraK) 2485 [B56]
FIDE Online Women’s World Blitz Championship (3), 18.06.2015
(IM, WGM Iva Videnova)
1.e4 c5 GM Alexandra Kosteniuk’s main weapon with Black pieces against 1.e4 is the Sicilian Defence, since it suits best to her aggressive and sharp style of play.
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3
The other main line is 6.Bg5 Richter-Rauzer Attack.
6…e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.f3 0–0 9.Qd2 White prepares to castle long.
9…a5 That’s why Black answers with an immediate attack on the queenside. In positions with opposite-side castles the winner is usually this one who manages to organize his attack first.
10.Bb5 The move was played by top players Anand, Shirov, Morozevich. It’s very logical because of preventing the a5–a4 advance.
11.Rd1 is the most popular move, followed by short castling.
11…Na7 12.Be2 Bd7
supporting the a5–a4 advance.
Another Russian top player for women, GM Nadezhda Kosintseva, has sacrificed a pawn, playing 12…b5 in order to open more files against the enemy’s king. 13.Bxa7 Rxa7 14.Nxb5 Ra8 15.Kb1 a4 16.Nc1 Qb6 17.g4 Rfc8 18.c4 Rab8 19.Qb4 d5 20.Qxe7 dxc4 21.Rd2 Qxb5 and White’s attack was decisive in the game Zakurdjaeva,I (2260)-Kosintseva,N (2459) Sochi 2005, 0–1 (36)
13.a4 was preferable, preventing …a5–a4.
13…a4 14.Nc1 b5 15.g4?
White starts an attack but Black seems faster.
15.a3 was a must, otherwise Black’s invasion on the queenside becomes too dangerous.
15…b4 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.exd5
17.Qxd5 doesn’t help either. 17…Qc7 with the idea of Rfb8, pointing all the pieces against White’s king.
17…Qb8 was a much better place for the queen. From here it can support the b4–b3 attack and the rook from f8 can join the attack.
18.a3! Tea Gueci uses the pin along the a5–d2 diagonal to attack the b4–pawn.
A key mistake.
White should have played 19.Na2 and the pawn on b4 will be taken with insufficient compensation for Black.
19…Nc8 It is a necessary move for the former World champion, in order to protect the queen on a5.
20.axb4 Qxb4 21.Qxb4 Rxb4 The queens are exchanged but Black’s attack along the semi-open a-, b-files is still there.
22.c3 Rb7 23.Kc2 f5!?
Black creates weaknesses on the other flank.
24.Na2 fxg4 25.fxg4 Rab8 26.Nb4
26…Rxb4!? The former World champion sacrificed an exchange in Petrosian’s style. It seems like White’s pawn structure was begging for it. The strong bishop pair and the active rook on b4 are pretty good compensation for this sacrifice.
27.cxb4 Rxb4 The g4–pawn is attacked.
28.Bd2 Re4 29.Bf3? Rc4+ 30.Kd3 Rd4+
The opposite move order was even better: 30…Nb6 attacking the g4–pawn, meanwhile threatening to give a check from d4 and take the d5–pawn: 31.Rdg1 Rd4+ 32.Kc2 Nxd5
31.Ke2 Nb6 32.Be3? White missed a great chance.
would turn the game in White’s favor, due to the fact that Black cannot avoid exchanging either rooks, or dark-squared bishops right now. If Alexandra Kosteniuk had predicted this continuation, she would surely play 31… Bd8, preventing the possible outcome.
32…Rb4 33.Bxb6 Rxb6 34.Rd2 Rb4 35.Kf2 e4
35…Bxg4 was also possible 36.Bxg4 Rxg4 and Black is better, having two pawns for the exchange and a better pawn structure.
36.Be2 Bf6 37.g5 Bxb2–+
Black is already winning, since nothing can stop the passed a-pawn from being promoted.
38…a3 would have been more consequent
39.Ke3 Be5 40.Rc7 Ke8 41.Rc4 Rb3+
41…Rxc4? would be, of course, a mistake. When an exchange down, one needs to keep the rook on the board. 42.Bxc4 Kf7 and now the support of the a4–pawn further advance is almost impossible.
42.Kxe4 a3 43.Bd1 Rb1?
What a blunder! Black missed the following discovered check. However, in blitz games anything can happen.
Simple 43…Rb8 would have kept the game winning for Black.
44.Bh5+ After this tactical motif Black loses another exchange.
45.Bxg6+?? White blunders last, perhaps missing the skewer along the b1–h7 diagonal.
45.Rxb1 Bf5+ 46.Ke3 Bxb1 47.Rc8+ Ke7 48.Bg4 a2 49.Rc7+ Kd8 50.Rc8+ Ke7 51.Rc7+ and the game could end in a perpetual check.
45…hxg6 46.Rxb1 Bf5+ This deadly skewer decides the game in favor of Black.
47.Ke3 Bxb1 And the rest is only a matter of technique, even in blitz.
48.Rc8+ Kd7 49.Ra8 a2 50.Ra7+ Kc8 51.Kf3 a1Q 52.Rxa1 Bxa1
White was forced to resign. It was a double-edged game with chances for both sides, but GM Alexandra Kosteniuk showed better tactical skills and won this game and later on the tournament.